Alway! First Thing!

Mom's Bathroom 2017-05-12 07.21.18

This morning was the second morning in a row that I heard Mom up early and her walker scooting into the kitchen before I had heard the bathroom door opening. I hurried to let the dogs out and get in there before she’d settled into her chair at the table (it’s almost impossible to get her up once she’s sat down).

“Good morning, Baby Girl!”

“Did you change your Depends?”

“No, I will later.”

“No! Always first thing! Every morning, when you get up, go change your Depends, first thing!”

“Okay, I’ll do it now.”

She clomped her walker around and headed back to the bathroom.

I was about to write that the rest of the morning’s routine proceeded without a hitch, but I just realized that her ride has come, she’s gone, and I totally forgot about checking her socks.

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Socks in the Morning

Socks & Remote 2017-04-13 07.37.10
Socks on the Couch

One of the things I have to remember in the morning is to remove yesterday’s socks from the couch and affirm with Mom that she get clean socks every day. Sometimes our weekend routine is lax, which is why I’m guessing this photo shows three pairs of socks, but hey, at least the message of “clean socks every day” seems to be getting through. Mostly.

This morning, I go to the couch, move Mother’s purse aside (she tries to hide them from me), and see–no socks! I look around to find that she’s got them on the seat right beside her and as I move toward them, she covers them with her hand and gives me a look. I take them from under her hand, and once again, affirm, “Clean socks every day!”

“Okay, okay.”

She thinks I’m crazy.

Counting Rabbits

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Mom sometimes peers down the table to make sure that what is on her plate matches what is on our plates. She doesn’t want to miss out on anything, especially not anything food-related.

A few weeks ago, I noticed her looking back and forth, trying to see around the napkin holder and salt shaker and down the table. Since ‘We’ve got the exact same things on our plates as you have on your plate’ is too long and complicated a sentence to try without using the whiteboard, and it was across the kitchen, I made a point of noticing she was looking, and said, “What?”

“Nothing–I’m just counting rabbits. One-two-three-four. Five! Betcha didn’t know I could count that high!” And then she laughed.

Our Easter tablecloth is very busy (part of the reason for the new medication strategy I mentioned yesterday), and it is well past Easter, but I still see her counting rabbits at dinnertime. I guess it can stay on the table awhile longer.

New Medication Strategy

Meds on the napkin 2017-05-02 06.40.49

In an attempt to keep Mother’s pills off her lap, off the floor, and for them to actually reach her mouth, I’ve switched from the small Dipping-Cup-As-Med-Cup, which worked fairly well for the past year or so, to Meds-On-A-Black-Napkin.

With the dipping cup, she would feel for the pills and get two or three at a time, and they didn’t all always get to her mouth. She couldn’t see if/where they dropped and didn’t much worry about it, either. I would try to stand by and monitor, insisting she pick up one pill at a time, but then the dogs would bark to come inside, or the phone would ring or who knows what. She would also swirl her finger around the bowl to check how many were left, and end up swirling one or more out onto the tablecloth without realizing it.

So, a new strategy. Pills spread out across a high-contrast background so that only one comes easily to hand at a time. I still have to stand there, but at least one of us can better see what’s going on.